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Children planting grasses among the painted pillars of Harmony Gardens

Tulse Hill turns on the tap to change

When Tulse Hill TRA asked Jason of Lambeth’s Technical Services Team for help with watering their garden, he got watering points installed. From that small drop of change, the estate has grown in community spirit and grown the number of gardeners getting involved. Tiziana from the TRA explains:


Airing and watering

People had to go to the old airing rooms, take out a big roll of hose, and attach it to the tap 20 to 30 yards away from the Children’s Garden (Brockwell Park side). It was difficult because there are only two keys to the airing room. Some people would carry down watering cans to help.

It used to be an allotment where young people came for lessons about plants, and the name ‘children’s garden’ stuck. Now we’ve got a new teaching programme based around the Tulse Hill polytunnel, where Vinnie the botanist explains what the plants are, how to care for them and what they can be used for.

Tuning up Harmony Garden

We’ve also made improvements to the community’s other garden – the Harmony Garden. With the support of Lambeth’s Estate Pride Team, social enterprise Urban Growth came along to plan some changes. They said “it’s a great space that needs a bit of help”. We held a community planting day on the August Bank Holiday, with kids who’d been part of the estate’s summer programme and other volunteers digging and painting the shed.

Grow it together

We’ve spread the message to residents that’s a space for children and adults to share. And not just different generations – we had British, Caribbean and Middle Eastern people working together. We’ve got more plans to bring the community together. This year was the first time we had Islamic children on our coach trip to Southend. We want to do something to bring the different churches together and mix together people of different faiths. We’re all local, and we all want to enjoy our lives. It won’t happen overnight, but – like a garden – it will grow.

For more information

Urban Growth are co-ordinating all the Edible Living food-growing schemes on Lambeth estates and advising on garden designs to create more user-friendly spaces for the local community. For more information about their training courses and garden plans, see their information pages

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